- 1. The Budget Review Director should issue a monthly report to the Suffolk County Legislature that reports on a department’s current and projected spending relative to the adopted budget for the fiscal year if in the opinion of the Budget Review Director a department’s spending projection exceeds budget.
- 2. Suffolk County should adopt a five-year deficit reduction plan that eliminates county operating debt and stabilizes and replenishes fund balances, and that such plan should be prepared by the County Executive and subject to legislative approval.
- 3. The Suffolk County Executive should require each county department to complete a 10- year strategic financial plan, incorporating all common components of a business plan, and that such plans should be subject to legislative approval.
- 4. Suffolk County should audit its utility bills, telephone bills, cell tower leases, franchise fees, asset recovery and subrogation for the purposes of maximizing efficiency and ensuring taxpayers are receiving the most fair value for their money.
- 5. Suffolk County should audit its fleet for the purpose of limiting take-home vehicles, excluding emergency vehicles.
Reduce Suffolk County Spending
Enact Budget Management Reforms
End Wasteful Spending
- 1. Suffolk County should competitively rebid every contract upon expiration, to the exclusion of any offering of an extension.
- 2. The membership of the Suffolk County Waiver Committee should be expanded to include an appointee recommended by the Minority Leader of the Suffolk County Legislature.
- 3. Suffolk County should prohibit the practice of leasing property in whole that it has previously sold.
- 4. Suffolk County should immediately eliminate its Public Campaign Financing program.
Enforce the Adopted County Budget
- 1. Every county employee and elected official should endeavor to spend within the County's adopted budget for the fiscal year.
- 2. Should a county department find it necessary to spend in excess of the County's adopted budget for the fiscal year, and such request is first approved by the County Executive, such request should be put forward to the Suffolk County Legislature for approval as a Budget Amendment, and such amendment should require the affirmative vote of no less than twelve members of the Legislature.
- 3. The Suffolk County Legislature should be required by county statute to vote directly on the County Executive’s proposed Executive Budget, and that Suffolk County should establish a procedure for enacting a Contingency Budget should a vote on the County Executive’s proposed Executive Budget fail.
Improve Government Transparency and Public Participation
- 1. The Suffolk County Legislature’s budget review process should be subjected to Open Meetings Law, and that the legislature should recognize an independent Citizen Budget Commission to review and report on the County Executive’s proposed Executive Budget at least three (3) days in advance of the final Public Hearing in the budget process.
- 2. The Suffolk County Legislature should require video recording and live streaming of Legislative Committee meetings.
- 3. The Suffolk County Legislature should be required to hold a Public Hearing, subject to all noticing requirements, prior to taking a vote to approve any collective bargaining agreements.
- 4. The Suffolk County Legislature’s Budget & Finance Committee should be required annually to publish a comprehensive schedule of all line-item or grant spending derived from the Hotel/Motel Tax, sorted by Legislative District, which should be conspicuously published on the Suffolk County Legislature’s website at least three (3) days in advance of the final Public Hearing in the budget process.
- 5. The Suffolk County Legislature’s Budget & Finance Committee should be required annually to publish a comprehensive fee schedule for the county that identifies each fee charged by the county, the service afforded by the fee, the projected direct annual cost of providing the service, and the projected annual revenue collected from the fee.
Invest in Workforce Efficiencies and Shared Services
- 1. Suffolk County should invest in the county’s information technology infrastructure and software, allowing the Information Technology Services department to develop efficiency programs, including paperless applications and workflow, and for county departments to easily share data and resources while establishing secure firewalls that prevent access of confidential information between departments where necessary.
- 2. Suffolk County should create a Department of Human Resources, and that Human Resources personnel throughout the county, including the Civil Service department, should be re-assigned to the Department of Human Resources.
- 3. Suffolk County should re-assign all Information Technology personnel to the existing Information Technology Services department, excluding the few specialized personnel necessary for maintaining confidential law enforcement databases, except that first Suffolk County should invest in necessary Information Technology infrastructure to facilitate personnel re-assignment as recommended within this document.
- 4. Suffolk County should consolidate the Real Property Tax Service as a division of the Clerk’s Office.
- 5. The Suffolk County legislature should request Home Rule approval of the New York State legislature to further incentivize all school districts and boards of cooperative educational services within the county to participate in Shared Service programs that benefit all components of Suffolk County taxpayer's property tax bills.
- 6. Suffolk County should work with local municipalities to adopt uniform permitting and licensing requirements for businesses to operate under simple and predictable conditions.